Donatello joined Watsi on November 5th, 2015. Three years ago, Donatello joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Donatello's most recent donation traveled 4,100 miles to support Chisuka, a widowed flour seller from Malawi, to fund hysterectomy surgery.
Donatello has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 12 countries.
Donatello has funded healthcare for 42 patients in 12 countries.
Chisuka is a widow who lost her husband in February 2023. Chisuka has never had a child of her own but has been keeping three orphans aged 15, 10, and 6 years old for her late sister who passed on 5 years ago. Her husband had lost his first wife 30 years ago who left a 6-year-old son who has been brought up by Chisuka until now. He is a soldier who is married with one child. Chisuka and her late husband loved these orphans and brought them up like their own before death separated them. Chisuka shared that a month after losing her husband, she was chased out of her main house and most of her belongings were taken by her in-laws. Chisuka is now in the boys’ quarter together with her children while the main house is rented but the money is not shared with her. Her stepson withdrew his support after the death of his father. Chisuka started selling groundnut flour for a living. She likes praying and encouraging her children to work hard at school since life has changed for the worse. Chisuka was well until three years ago when she started experiencing cramping abdominal pains and felt a hard mass on the left side of her abdomen. Chisuka has been to different hospitals without much improvement. Of late Chisuka has had overwhelming abdominal pains, bleeding tendencies, loss of appetite leading to loss of weight, a lot of discomforts leading to more stress, weakness, and general body pain. On 24th January, Chisuka was booked and seen by the gynecologist at our medical partner's care center PIH who confirmed the diagnosis of multiple uterine fibroids through an ultrasound scan. She was notified about the need for a surgical intervention called total abdominal hysterectomy (TAH) which is the removal of the uterus, including the cervix. Chisuka was then referred to the Watsi program due to her financial status. She is contributing what she can and needs help raising $1,363 to fund her surgery. Fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in a woman's uterus. Fibroids might become quite large leading to severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding. If left untreated, fibroids continue to grow, both in size and number worsening the symptoms; the heavy bleeding may become worse causing anemia which may be fatal. After the surgery, it is expected that Chisuka will stop having unbearable abdominal pains and heavy bleeding and will continue taking care of her late sister’s children and living a more comfortable life. Chisuka, with tears in her eyes, said, “Please help me, I have faced more than I could, and now I need a breather and a comfortable life to let me render support to my children.”
Monicah is a 36 year old from Kenya. She works as a cleaner and her income is inconsistent. She is a single mother of four children. Her older child is in primary two while the youngest is in nursery school. She is the breadwinner and their family lives in a single-room rental house costing about $7. Monica was well until December 2022. She reports that her hearing kept decreasing and one day it just went down. She has been diagnosed with severe hearing loss in both ears. She cannot hear unless someone shouts. She is accompanied by her elderly mother who is helping her. She can hear well if she gets a hearing aid device and needs two devices for both ears. She has been living with the condition for a year now and has not been able to get medical attention due to a lack of finances. Our medical partner African Mission Healthcare is requesting funds of $1,171 to cover hearing aid fitting and devices for Monicah. Monicah says, “I used to hear well, and I am looking forward to hearing again.”
Seven year old Isack lives with his parents and one younger sibling in the Arusha region of Tanzania. His father works at a carwash, while his mother is a homemaker. Isack was born with clubfoot - a congenital condition - that has affected his mobility, as his foot is twisted out of shape, making it difficult for him to wear shoes or to walk. Despite having the opportunity for treatment at a young age, financial constraints prevented his parents from completing all of the necessary post-operative requirements. Consequently, Isack experienced a relapse shortly after the procedure, and has been living with the condition since he began walking. This condition causes him significant pain when walking long distances, and when trying to engage in sports with his friends. Fortunately, Isack's family traveled to visit our medical partner's care center, Kafika House, where the team will begin clubfoot treatment on December 22nd. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $935 to fund Isack's clubfoot repair. After treatment, he will be able to walk and play easily without pain. Isack’s mother says: “I hope this time around we will be able to complete my son’s treatment, and his leg will not cause him any trouble in the future.”
Samuel is a toddler from Ethiopia. He is the second child and loves playing with his older brother. He also loves to take milk and Plumpy Nuts, a nutritional treatment donated by the government for malnourishment, as many children in Samuel’s area experience malnutrition. Samuel’s parents separated, and he, along with his siblings, is being cared for by his mother. She works in the community market, which is a community-organized venture that operates one day a week. On the other days, his mother buys and sells bread from bread makers for a profit. Due to the area’s high poverty levels and rocky topography, drought and water shortages limit food production, so many families receive food donations of maize and wheat from the government, which also helps Samuel’s mom support her family. Samuel was born with hypospadias, a congenital abnormality that causes urinary dysfunction. His mom brought him to a local health center, where he was referred to the hospital. Unfortunately, before treatment could begin, war broke out and forced Samuel and his mother to return home without any treatment. Samuel’s mom has been deeply concerned about his health. However, she was filled with hope after meeting with a social worker from our medical partner’s care center and learning that Samuel’s condition is treatable. With that hope, she traveled three days to the care center for Samuel's surgery. Samuel is scheduled to undergo corrective surgery on December 12th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH), is requesting $1,293 to cover the total cost of his procedure and care. Without treatment, he will continue to experience uncomfortable symptoms and will be at risk of infertility. Samuel’s mom said, “I hope I will see my child healed and pass urine just like other children.”
Simeona is a 65-year-old woman, living in the Philippines. She lives alone, and works selling clothing outside of the church. While she has two adult children, they have families of their own, and Simeona is determined to be financially independent, even as there are many days when she doesn't earn very much. Three years ago, Simeona began to experience stomach aches that would radiate to her back. These symptoms made it difficult for her to take care of her daily chores, and as she lives alone, there was no one to help her. It was determined that Simeona needs to have her gallbladder removed, in order to alleviate her symptoms, and to ensure that she does not experience further health complications. While a portion of Simeona's surgical procedure is being covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, our medical partner, World Surgical Foundation Philippines, is seeking $1,128 to cover the remainder of what is needed for Simeona's cholecystectomy, which is scheduled for October 18th, at Our Lady of Peace Hospital. Simeona said: "It is a significant help for me to receive medical treatment without any expenses. Even if I sell clothes everyday for the rest of my life, I would have never earned the money needed for this treatment. So, thank you very much to all the donors who will make this surgery possible for me."
Masanja is an 11-year-old boy from Kitavi, Tanzania. His parents are farmers, working to provide for their family’s subsistence needs. Masanja was born with clubfeet - a birth abnormality in which his feet are twisted out of shape or position. The tissues connecting the muscles to the bone (tendons) are shorter than usual, causing the feet to twist and making walking and wearing shoes difficult. The nearest hospital could not provide the treatment he needed, and Masanja has a difficult time walking. Because of this, Masanja made the difficult decision to leave school temporarily as it is far from home. He now is responsible for the grazing of his father's cows. Masanja hopes to return to school. His parents, while supportive of Masanja's dreams, cannot afford the medical treatment necessary to allow Masanja mobility. Masanja's father learned that services would be available at the Plaster House, a care center of our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare (AMH). Upon Masanja's arrival at the center, he received a warm welcome and an initial assessment. A treatment plan was developed. The medical team will begin clubfoot treatment on September 15. AMH is requesting $935 to fund Masanja's clubfoot repair. After treatment, his mobility will be restored, and he will be able to resume school. Masanja says: “I want to be able to walk without discomfort. My leg has been causing me pain for a while.”
Four year old Neserian lives with his family in a village in the Manyara region of Tanzania. The family has long depended upon agriculture and livestock keeping to sustain them. However, climate change has shadowed their agricultural activities, rendering them increasingly unreliable. Consequently, Neserian’s father has turned to selling cattle to support his household. But drought has led to the cattle being unable to feed properly, so that they fetch considerably less money at the market. Neserian's father works hard to meet the needs of his family. In October 2022, Neserian was alone at home, when he ventured too close to an open flame. His clothing caught fire, and he suffered burns to his right elbow and wrist. The neighbors came to his aid, and when his mother returned home, she brought him to a local hospital for care. Neserian remained at the hospital for a month. Despite the care that he received, Neserian has only a limited range of motion of his right arm. Sadly, the local hospital lacks the resources to address this. Neserian and his father traveled for nine hours to consult with doctors from our medical partner's care center the Plaster House NGO. After a thorough assessment, it was determined that Neserian would need to undergo a Z-plasty procedure, to release his right axilla and elbow, along with a full thickness skin graft on his right hand. The pinky on his right hand will need to be amputated. The surgical procedures are set for August 15th but the cost of treatment is beyond the means of Neserian's family, prompting them to appeal for your assistance in covering the $1,088 needed for Neserian's care. After he has healed completely, Neserian will be able to use his hand, and lead a full life, free from disability. Neserian’s father says: “We wish for him to be able to use his hand because he is about to start school, and we are worried it will be hard for him as his right hand is the one affected.”
Khin is 28-year-old man from Burma. He lives with his wife, two children, parents in-law, a brother-in-law, and a sister-in-law in a village in Karen State. Khin, his parents, and his sister-in-law are subsistence farmers, while his daughter and brother-in-law are students. His son is too young to enroll in school. They also raise chickens and pigs for their own consumption, forage for vegetables and go fishing. To pay school fees, Khin sometimes is able to get work as a day labourer. On July 10th, Khin was picking dog fruit when suddenly the branch he was standing on broke. He fell out of the tree on to a wooden dwelling and broke his spine. With the help of Watsi donors, he received a CT scan of his back which showed that he had indeed fractured his spine, and he was told that he would need to undergo surgery to heal. He is in pain, and he cannot walk. With the help of our medical partner Burma Children Medical Fund (BMC), Khin will undergo surgery to reset his fractured bones and ensure proper healing. The procedure is scheduled for July 19th and Khin needs help raising $1,500 to fund the surgery. This procedure will help him walk again. Khin shared, "I am not scared to receive surgery because I know I need to undergo it to recover."
Sephora, a 4-year-old girl with Down syndrome from Haiti, loves listening to music and drawing with crayons. She lives with her parents and three older siblings in a neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. Sephora has a cardiac condition called patent ductus arteriosus. Because of this condition, a hole exists between two blood vessels near her heart. Blood leaks through this hole, leaving her weak and short of breath. Sephora needs to fly to the Dominican Republic to receive cardiac treatment on May 29th. First, the doctors will perform tests to determine if the hole near her heart can be safely closed or whether it is better to manage the condition with medication. If the tests show a good result, the surgeons will close the hole using a device attached to the end of a catheter. Haiti Cardiac Alliance is contributing $6,000 to pay for Sephora's surgery. Sephora's family also needs help with her $1,500 surgery prep costs. This cost covers all her labs, medicines, check-ups, and follow-up appointments. It also covers the cost of passports and social workers accompanying Sephora's family overseas. Sephora's mother said, "I am very happy to know that my daughter finally has the chance to have her heart fixed!"
Maylin, who is 14 months old, lives with her parents and two older siblings in the mountains of central Bolivia. Her father is a truck driver, while her mother is a farmer and a homemaker. Maylin was born with Down syndrome and a cardiac condition called ventricular septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two lower chambers of her heart. Blood leaks through this hole without passing through the lungs to obtain oxygen, leaving her weak and short of breath. Maylin will need surgery to correct her cardiac defect. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, is seeking $1,500 to fund Maylin's surgery, which is scheduled to take place on May 16th at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. This surgery will enable Maylin to lead a healthy and happy life. Maylin's mother said: "Our family would like to say thank you to everyone who is helping our daughter get better!"
Moses is a playful four-year-old boy from Nyandarua County in Kenya. He is the seventh and youngest child in his family. Both of his parents are peasant farmers. Moses was a healthy child at birth. However, last year his mother noticed an unusual bending of his legs towards each other, known as knock knees. At that time, Moses' mother was told to wait until Moses was older before considering treatment. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,224 to fund hemiepiphysiodesis surgery for Moses, which is scheduled for April 18th at AIC Cure International Hospital. This procedure, also known as guided growth, will gradually correct Moses' angular limb deformity, enabling him to walk comfortably as he grows older. “I will appreciate any kind of support purposed to help my boy walk normally like other children.” Moses’s mother told us.
Hser is a 30-year-old midwife from Burma. She lives with her husband and eight other colleagues in the staff housing of the clinic she works at. Hser is a midwife, and her husband is a medic. In her free time, she enjoys going fishing with her husband and friends, weaving Karen clothes, and visiting the villagers nearby. Around June 2020, Hser felt she had a mass. Thinking it was not serious, she did not go to a hospital for treatment until April 2022. At the hospital, a doctor gave her medication for three months, but the mass did not decrease in size. Currently, Hser's experiences uncomfortable symptoms from the mass. Hser sought treatment through our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund. She is now scheduled to undergo mass removal surgery on March 8th. Hser needs help raising $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Hser said, "I am married, but I don’t plan to have children yet because my husband and I are both busy working as health workers for our community. So, I am very worried that I won't be able to have children anymore because of my condition. However, I have a loving and kind husband who understands me in every way, and he told me not to worry and feel sad. We cannot help but stay strong, helping and encouraging each other."