Melissa joined Watsi on August 12th, 2014. Two years ago, Melissa joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Melissa's most recent donation traveled 8,200 miles to support Junel, a loving father and nursing aide from Philippines, to fund life-changing gallbladder surgery.
Melissa has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 9 countries.
Melissa has funded healthcare for 41 patients in 9 countries.
Junel is a loving father from the Philippines who lives with his mother, his partner, and their one-year-old daughter. To support their family, Junel works as a nursing aide and his partner is a dietician. Since 2017, Junel has experienced troubling symptoms including abdominal pain and feeling bloated. Most recently in February, Junel experienced severe abdominal pain that required medical attention. His ultrasound revealed that he was suffering from gallstones, and he will need to undergo surgery to remove his gallbladder to prevent worsening symptoms and/or future health complications. After seeking treatment through our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), Junel is scheduled to undergo his gallbladder surgery on March 8th. A portion of the cost of the procedure is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is looking to help raise $1,128 to cover the remaining cost of Junel's surgery and care. Junel shared: "My medical condition is a burden to me and my family. I have to miss going to work whenever the pain attacks, and that will cost my whole day's salary. Fortunately, WATSI and World Surgical Foundation Philippines are willing to help me. I couldn't thank you enough for your generosity. I'm eternally grateful for all your help!"
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.”
Kimberly is a 5-month-old baby girl. She lives in a small city in central Bolivia with her parents, who work in the mining industry, and three siblings. Kimberly was born with several defects in her heart, including a hole between the two upper chambers as well as a second hole between the two lower chambers. As a result of these conditions, her heart struggles to pump blood through her body. During surgery, doctors will be able to sew these holes shut so that her heart functions well and is stronger. Her surgery is scheduled for January 19th. Fortunately, the organization, Gift of Life International, is subsidizing part of Kimberly's medical care, but her family still needs help to fund the remaining $1,500. Kimberly's mother says, "Our family is very hopeful that this surgery will be a success!"
Marivel is a hardworking and loving daughter from the Philippines. She is a 2nd-year college student. While studying, she tried to look for jobs to support her family. Unfortunately, to date she has been unable to pass the medical (health) requirements. The only breadwinner in the family is her father who works as a pedicab driver. Her father's income is often not enough to bring food to the table. In 2018, Marivel began to experience troubling symptoms, including a mass on her neck that is growing in size, and episodes of difficulty breathing. Due to the inadequate family resources, she did not seek treatment. By the time she finally had a chance to be checked by a doctor, her condition had worsened. She was diagnosed with Nodular Non-Toxic Goiter, a thyroid gland enlargement with no disturbance in the thyroid function. She needs surgery to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Fortunately, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines (WSFP), is helping Marivel receive treatment. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 10th at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. A portion of the cost of her treatment is being supported by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and WSFP is raising the remaining $890 to cover the cost of Marivel's procedure and care. Marivel shared, "I'd like to thank Watsi and World Surgical Foundation Philippines. You're not just giving me surgery, but also a chance to support my family. After my treatment, I'd be able to find a decent job and provide for our needs."
Reth is a 61-year-old retired rice farmer with three sons, three daughters, and 10 grandchildren. All of her children are also farmers, which is the most common livelihood in their community. A year ago, Reth developed a cataract in her left eye, causing her partial blindness. Because of her impaired vision, Reth is reluctant to go out on her own. Fortunately, our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Reth to access the care that she needs. On June 8th, doctors at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre will perform small incision cataract surgery on Reth, and implant an intraocular lens in her left eye. After she has recovered, Reth should once again be able to see clearly, and to feel confident again to move around by herself. Children's Surgical Centre is seeking $253 to fund her procedure and care. Reth says: "I hope my eye can see clearly again so I can recognize things well and take better care of myself."
Cleophas is a 23-year-old farmer and student from a Kenyan family of eleven. He is studying at a technical training institute, and grows potatoes to help him pay his school fees. His wife is also a student taking an information technology course at the same institute, and they have a 2-year-old son. When schools are in session, they live in a rental house near their school, but during the holiday they stay at home and focus on farming as it is their main source of income. Cleophas was preparing timber for repair of their maize store, when one of the timbers fell on his leg and injured him. The heavy timber broke his leg, and when he was examined, he had a large wound on his left leg with tendons and proximal tibia exposed. He was rushed to theatre for incision and drainage and his fracture was stabilized with a long leg posterior splint. Now Cleophas is unable to use his swollen and painful leg. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On November 8th, Cleophas will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Cleophas will no longer be in pain, he will be able to use his leg and work to provide for family. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,145 to fund this medical procedure. Cleophas says, "I am the sole bread winner in the family. Sometimes I give a helping hand to my parents so that my siblings can study. I feel so sorry for myself now that I cannot use my limb. Please help me so that my family may not suffer.”
Shedrack is two years old, and lives in Tanzania with his parents and one sibling. His mother stays at home to care for the children, while his father is a small scale farmer, whose earnings cover the family's basic needs. Five months ago, when Shedrack was in the kitchen with his mother, he pushed over a pot of boiling water, burning his left arm and left leg. Shedrack's mother rushed him to a local dispensary, where they were sent on to the hospital. As the family lives in a remote area, Shedrack's treatment required extensive travel. And, while the burns ultimately healed, Shedrack developed contractures, which limit his ability to straighten his leg, or to use the fingers on his left hand. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Shedrack receive treatment. On October 13th, surgeons at Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre will perform burn contracture release surgery, which will enable Shedrack to walk easily, and use his fingers again. Now, he needs your help to fund this $874 procedure. Shedrack’s mother says: “The burns were so bad that I thought I was going to lose my son. I am glad that now I am going to be able to help finish his treatment and all thanks to you.”
Meet Venesa, a beautiful two year old girl. She was born at home with a swelling at the lower part of her back, and with legs that were not straight like other babies their family knew. The day after she was born, Venesa's parents took her to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with spina bifida and clubfoot. The family was advised to wait until Venesa turned nine months old, before having her undergo the surgery that she needs. Although surgery was deemed urgent, when Venesa was finally old enough, her parents couldn't afford to pay for it. Then, about a year ago, Venesa was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Venesa's mom shared that shortly after this last diagnosis, Venesa's father abandoned the family and is not involved in helping support them any more. Venesa's mother used to work at a salon, but after Venesa's birth, she has been unable to work. They are now living with Venesa's grandmother, who does what she can to help. Without surgery for her spina bifida, Venesa risks paralysis of her lower limbs, infection of the exposed nerve tissue, and developmental delays. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,151 to cover the cost of Venesa's spina bifida closure surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on September 14th, at BethanyKids Kijabe Hospital. This procedure will hopefully spare Venesa from the risks associated with her condition, allowing her to experience a strong and healthy life. Venesa’s mother says: “Since she was born, I have no peace knowing that I can’t afford her treatment.”
Shee is a bright and caring 12-year-old girl from Thailand who likes to play the piano, listen to music, and help her caregiver garden with her friends. She lives with 30 students, including her younger brother, in the dormitory of Has Thoo Lei Learning Centre. She is currently in fifth grade, and her brother is in third grade. Both her and her brother's dormitory fees, including food and accommodations, are funded by a Christian nonprofit organization called Compassion Thailand. Both of her parents currently live in Burma and work as subsistence farmers. Her father also works as a day laborer. Shee's parents support her and her brother with their school fees and pocket money. For the past two years, Shee has dealt with femoral hernias. As a result of her condition, she experiences pain in her right groin, as well as pain and discomfort when she sits for a long period of time. When she plays with her friends or is active, the bulge increases in size. Her condition has progressively worsened, and she has had to miss school frequently as a result. Fortunately, she will undergo hernia repair surgery at Mae Sot General Hospital, our medical partner's care center. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to fund Shee's hernia repair surgery. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 22nd. Once completed, she will hopefully be able to live more comfortably. Shee says, “I want to become a nurse when I grow up one day and help people in my community who are sick and need my help.”
Hebron is an adorable two-year-old baby boy. He is a charming boy who loves to play with his older sister. Hebron’s father is a teacher at a local college while Hebron's mother is a housewife. Despite working hard, it is difficult for Hebron’s father to make ends meet for their family. Hebron has been diagnosed with genu valgus, where his legs bow inward so that his knees touch. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, he has difficulty walking and this worries his parents since his sister suffers the same condition. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Hebron. The procedure is scheduled to take place on July 8th. Treatment will hopefully restore Hebron's mobility, allow him to participate in a variety of activities, and greatly decrease his risk of future complications. Hebron’s mother says, “Please help me, my children's legs are being deformed and we are worried."
Angel is a one-year-old girl from Haiti. She is her parent's first child. Her dad works as a taxi driver to support the family. Angel 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, Angel's head has been increasing in circumference. Without treatment, Angel will experience severe physical and developmental delays. Our medical partner, Project Medishare, is requesting $957 to cover the cost of surgery that will treat her hydrocephalus 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 April 26th. This critical treatment will place a shunt to drain the excess fluid from Angel's brain to reduce intracranial pressure and greatly improve her quality of life. With proper treatment, Angel will hopefully develop into a strong, healthy young girl. Angel's parents are looking forward to her being able to grow up and play like other children.
Sreyda is a 26-year-old grocery seller with five siblings. She currently lives with her parents and her sister. Sreyda enjoys watching movies and spending time chatting with her relatives. Three years ago, Sreyda had a severe ear infection. This infection caused a cholesteatoma, or an abnormal skin growth, to develop in the middle ear behind the ear drum. This has now caused Sreyda to experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and ear discharge. Sreyda traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On April 19th, Sreyda will undergo a mastoidectomy procedure in her right ear where ENT surgeons will remove the cholesteatoma. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is helping Sreyda and her family raise $926 to cover her procedure, medications, supplies, and inpatient care. Sreyda says, "I'm really hoping all of the ear discharge will stop and my hearing will improve."