Marielle joined Watsi on February 6th, 2019. Three years ago, Marielle joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Marielle's most recent donation supported Naw Gay, a mother of two and refugee from Thailand, to fund a C-section to deliver her baby safely.
Marielle has funded healthcare for 44 patients in 10 countries.
Marielle has funded healthcare for 44 patients in 10 countries.
Naw Gay is a 24-year-old woman who lives with her husband and two sons in a refugee camp in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. Originally from Bago Division across the border in Burma, she fled to the refugee camp with her family last May due to armed conflict in their area. Currently, Naw Gay is a homemaker while her husband is unemployed. Her children are too young to attend school. They receive free basic health care in the refugee camp, provided by Malteser International (MI) Thailand, and some financial support from nonprofit The Border Consortium and their uncle living in the United States. During her free time, she loves to play with her children and clean her house. Naw Gay is currently expecting her third child. Her doctors recommend that she deliver via a Caesarean section. Both of Naw Gay's sons were born through C-section due to eclampsia. She has received regular antenatal care at the hospital in the refugee camp and she was told that she will have to give birth through C-section in order to ensure the safety of both mother and child. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is helping Naw Gay undergo a C-section on February 1st. Naw Gay's family needs your support to cover $1500 of her treatment. Naw Gay shared, “My husband would like to have a girl this time because we already have two sons. As for me, I don’t mind if it’s a boy or a girl because I will love my baby either way.”
Ritchina is a 7-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with both of her loving parents and her older brother. Ritchina has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition in which excess cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain and increases intracranial pressure. As a result of her condition, Ritchina has been experiencing increasing head circumference. Without treatment, Ritchina will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $897 to cover the cost of surgery for Ritchina at Hospital Bernard Mevs that will treat her hydrocephalus. This is the only site in the country where this care is currently available and the procedure is scheduled to take place on January 4th. This critical treatment will drain the excess fluid from Ritchina's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Ritchina will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Her parents are hopeful that surgery will allow their child to grow up healthy.
Han Thar is a 45-year-old single mother from Thailand. Han Thar lives with her two sons and a daughter. As she is a homemaker, her family's sole income comes from her eldest son, who works as a day laborer. Her other children are attending school. Han Thar enjoys spending quality time with her family. Since 2020, Han Thar has been experiencing significant back pain and abdominal discomfort when sitting and lying down. She has been diagnosed with leiomyoma uterus. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, the surgical removal of her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Han Thar's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Han Thar is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on December 7th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, requests $1,500 to cover her procedure and care costs. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain and discomfort. Han Thar said, "When I heard that I could receive surgery with the help of Watsi and the donors, my children and I were overjoyed. There are no words to express how the Burma Children Medical Fund is helping me. I promise I will do my best to take care of myself after my surgery."
Su said, "I gave up after I learned the surgery would cost more than we could ever pay. I thought about taking medications to control my symptoms until my time came to go. But now I feel less stressed. Thank you so much for releasing us from our financial problem. I am looking forward to returning to work once I recover." Su lives with her husband, who works as a baker. She stopped working as a factory worker in August due to her deteriorating health and is currently unemployed. Back in 2016, Su began experiencing occasional tiredness, which worsened with physical activity. She also has difficulty sleeping, irregular heartbeat, and loss of appetite. Subsequent investigations, including an ECHO and ECG, revealed she needs a heart surgery called mitral valve replacement. After the surgery, she will no longer experience tiredness, irregular heartbeat, or difficulty sleeping.
Lin is a 24-year-old day laborer who lives with his mother - who is a seamstress - in Thailand. During his free time, Lin enjoys playing cane ball with his friends. In June, Lin was involved in a motorbike accident that caused the fracture of his right femur shaft. He underwent emergency surgery, but in September 2023, he slipped and fell, causing the internal fixator attached to his fractured femur to dislodge. As a result, he experiences pain and swelling in his right leg, particularly in his thigh, and he is unable to walk. With the help of our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, Lin will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and to ensure that everything heals properly. This procedure is scheduled for October 6th at Mae Sot General Hospital, and will cost $1,500. Lin needs your help to fund this surgery, which will alleviate his pain and enable him to walk easily again. Lin said: "I want to thank you Watsi and all the donors for helping me receive this expensive surgery. After this surgery, I will certainly be more cautious. Once I recover, I want to work again to support my mother. I want to repay your kindness. I will always remember your help."
Harrison is 54-year-old mechanic from Kamuguga Kiambu County, Kenya. He is married and a father of 8 children. Of these, 5 are still in school, and the other 3 have completed school, but only one works as a teacher. Harrison does works as a mechanic, while his wife sells green vegetables in a nearby market. About four days ago, Harrison was working on a vehicle when it accidentally moved and rolled over his right leg. An x-ray revealed an open fracture to the tibia (shinbone). The fracture causes him to experience a lot of pain. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner African Mission Healthcare (AMH) can help. On August 14th, Harrison will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Successful treatment will result in the fracture healing without deformity. AMH is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. “We support each other to care for our family. I hope this leg will be operated on and heal quickly so that I can go back to my job, and the pain is also too much for me. Kindly seek help on my behalf,” said Harrison.
Anastasia is a 12-month-old baby girl from Haiti. She lives with her parents and three older siblings in a small village in eastern Haiti where her parents are both farmers. Anastasia has a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, meaning that a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through her lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Anastasia also has Down syndrome. Our medical partner Haiti Cardiac Alliance (HCA) is helping Anastasia which is especially challenging as the treatment she needs is not available within Haiti. On August 2nd, she will fly to the Dominican Republic to undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole with a patch so that blood can no longer leak through it. HCA is subsidizing $8,000 of the cost of transportation and treatment, and Anastasia's family is asking for $1,500 to help to fund the costs of surgery prep, labs, medicines, and check-up and follow-up appointments. It will support passport obtainment and the social workers from HCA who will accompany Anastasia's family overseas. Anastasia's mother shared, "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping to fix our daughter's heart."
Etchna is a toddler from Haiti. She lives with her parents and several siblings in the mountains of southwest Haiti, where her parents are both farmers. Etchna has a cardiac condition called Tetralogy of Fallot. This birth condition involves several related defects, including a hole between the two lower chambers of the heart and a muscular blockage of one of the valves. These defects prevent enough blood from passing through Etchna's lungs, depriving her of oxygen and leaving her weak and short of breath. The care that she needs is not available anywhere in Haiti, so Etchna will fly to the Cayman Islands to receive treatment. There, on June 28th, she will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will close the hole in Etchna's heart with a patch and remove the blockage from her valve. Another organization, Have a Heart Cayman, will also contribute $18,000 for her surgery. However, Etchna's family needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep, travel, and follow-up. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, checkups, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Etchna's family overseas. Her mother said: "Our family is praying that Etchna will be able to become healthy and normal after this surgery."
Laurecia is a 19-year-old tailor living in Tanzania. When she was about two years old, her parents noticed her legs bowing outwards. They did not seek treatment, however, due to financial challenges. Laurecia, who is a very determined young woman, was able to complete her Form 4 studies and pursue her passion for tailoring, enrolling in a vocational school where she could hone her skills. Laurecia was diagnosed with bilateral genu valgus, a condition typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, stemming from the consumption of contaminated drinking water. As a result of her condition, Laurecia has a difficult time walking and doing the work of a tailor. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Laurecia. The procedure is scheduled to take place on April 17th, at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre. Treatment will restore Laurecia's mobility, allow her to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease her risk of future complications. Laurecia says: “I have lived with this condition for too long. I’m hopeful for the future now that I am about to start treatment.”
Besufikad is an energetic 4-year-old boy from Ethiopia. He loves playing football with other children. He enjoys eating Shiro with injera, meat, and vegetables and loves drinking milk. He has one older sister; she is in grade three at a community school. Besufikad's mother used to work at a government office, but she had to stop working in order to care for him. People around her support her with food and house rent. They live with her sister, who is paralyzed. She and her family are dependent on unreliable support, thus they are unable to afford the recommended treatment for Besufikad. Besufikad was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Fortunately, Besufikad is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on May 2nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Besufikad's mother said, “If he gets the treatment and becomes well, I may be able to start working again. I will educate him. I hope he will become a doctor.”
Hana is a cute and happy baby who loves playing with toys and interacting with the people around her. Her favorite foods are porridge with bread and pasta. She is the only child of her parents. Her mother used to sell candles at church gates, and her father is in the military, though he currently has no contact with the family. Last year, Hana started refusing her mother’s milk, and her abdomen began to swell. Her mother was extremely concerned about her baby's condition and immediately took Hana to the clinic. Hana was diagnosed with Hirschsprung's Disease, a condition in which missing nerve cells in the large intestine cause intestinal blockage. Further referrals led her to our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, who will help Hana and her mother with a treatment plan. Now, African Mission Healthcare is asking for $1,500 to help fund Hana's Hirschsprung's pull-through surgery scheduled for March 16th. Hana's mother said, “After her surgery, I want her to be well and to grow healthy. I will send her to school. I will try my best to give her a better life, and I don’t want her to suffer as I did. I hope she will be wise and independent in her future.”
Meet Nafissa. She is a 25-year old woman who shared that she tends to be very shy and reserved. She lives with her parents and her young child in an area of Burkina Faso where conflict is currently impacting their lives deeply. When she was a child, Nafissa developed a painful growth on the left side of her chin. This swelling in her lower jawbone affected her ability to eat, and was determined to be a benign tumor that needed to be removed. Her parents were able to secure the funds to send Nafissa to a hospital in Togo, where she could be treated at no cost to her family. The growth was removed, and for several years, Nafissa did well. However, the growth recurred, and in the middle of last year, Nafissa returned to Togo, where the second growth was excised. This time, however, the surgeon determined that her whole jawbone would also need to be removed. As the doctor in Togo did not have the necessary training to perform the surgery that Nafissa needed, he referred her to a physician with our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare. Miraculously, Nafissa is now scheduled for a major jaw surgery with the leading team at AIC Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. As Nafissa's husband abandoned her because of her condition, and provides no support to Nafissa or their child, Nafissa and her parents are looking to you to help fund the $1,500 procedure, which will finally relieve Nafissa of the pain and symptoms that result from the tumor. Nafissa says: “It pains me that I have to stay at home with no friends. Making it worse, I cannot work to provide for my child.”