Hema joined Watsi on May 23rd, 2016. Six years ago, Hema joined our Universal Fund, supporting life-changing treatments for a new Watsi patient every month. Hema's most recent donation supported Natalia, a 13 year old girl from Bolivia, to fund heart surgery.
Hema has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 13 countries.
Hema has funded healthcare for 74 patients in 13 countries.
Natalia, who is 13 years old, lives in the mountains above La Paz with her parents and two younger brothers. Natalia was born with a cardiac condition called atrial septal defect, in which a hole exists between the two upper chambers of her heart. Because of this hole, blood leaks out without passing through the chambers of her heart to gather oxygen, leaving Natalia weak and short of breath. Fortunately, Natalia's family sought care through our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, and Natalia is now scheduled for corrective surgery on January 17th, at Hospital del Niño Dr. Ovidio Aliaga Uría. During the surgery, doctors will sew a patch over the hole in Natalia's heart, enabling her to live a healthy life. Another organization Gift of Life International has contributed $3,000 and our medical partner is seeking your help to fund the remaining $1,500 needed for this life-saving procedure. Natalia said: "I am looking forward to this surgery so that I can go to school without feeling tired."
Grace is a farmer, living in Kenya. She is married, and has nine children. With the assistance of some of her children, Grace works the land, and can sometimes produce enough maize to sell, although her earnings have not been sufficient to enable her children to remain in school. Grace's husband is unable to work due to a chronic illness, so the family relies on whatever income Grace can bring in, along with the limited earnings that her older children contribute from the casual jobs that they do. She shared that only one of her children was able to complete high school due to school fees. Four years ago Grace began to experience a constellation of symptoms, including severe headaches, chest pains and difficulty swallowing. She has also developed a swelling in her neck. She managed to raise enough funds to pay for tests at the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a non-toxic multinodular goiter. The doctors told Grace that she would require surgery to resolve her condition, and to prevent her symptoms from getting worse. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is helping Grace access the treatment that she requires. She is scheduled to undergo a thyroidectomy on December 19th at AIC Kapsowar Hospital, during which surgeons will remove all or part of her thyroid gland. This procedure will cost $936, and Grace and her family need your help to raise the necessary funds. Grace says: "I have been so weak and tired lately. I cannot do a lot of work, and my children cannot get their basic needs met without me. I am really worried, but I have hope that someday everything will be well. Kindly help me so that I may be able to provide for my children."
Dawentz is a student from Haiti. He lives in a small town in the mountains of central Haiti with his parents and siblings. He is in his last year of high school, and would like to go on to university to study law or business. Dawentz has a cardiac condition called severe rheumatic aortic regurgitation. One of the four valves of his heart was severely damaged by a rheumatic fever he suffered earlier in childhood. As a result, his heart can no longer adequately pump blood through his body, leaving him weak and short of breath. The surgery that Dawentz needs is not available within Haiti due to limited cardiac care. He is scheduled to fly to the United States to receive treatment. On November 18th, he will undergo cardiac surgery, during which surgeons will remove his damaged valve and implant an artificial replacement. Another organization, Baylor Scott & White Heart Hospital, is contributing $20,000 to help pay for surgery. Dawentz's family also needs help to fund the costs of surgery prep and travel. The $1,500 bill covers labs, medicines, and checkup and followup appointments. It also supports the costs of obtaining his passport and the expenses of the social worker from our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, who will accompany Dawentz's family overseas. Dawentz says: "I am very glad to know that so many people are helping me to get my health back."
Christopher is the first born in his family of three children. He works in different homes taking care of cows or farming work. Although Christopher would have liked to go to college after completing secondary school, his family couldn't afford it. As a result, he earns limited income from casual labor jobs, which he shares with his mother who needs support. On Wednesday 5th October, as Christopher went to feed the cows, one cow pushed him to a corner and he was squeezed against the wall until he sustained fracture of the right clavicle. He is unable to attend to his duties that give him income and he is also experiencing pain. Christopher came to hospital accompanied by his employer. He is currently not in a position to fund his treatment and thus request for assistance. Fortunately, surgeons at our medical partner can help. On October 13th, Christopher will undergo a fracture repair procedure, called an open reduction and internal fixation. Christopher will be able to use his hand without feeling pain. He will also be able to resume his daily duties and continue to support his mother. Now, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare Foundation, is requesting $1,049 to fund this procedure. Christopher says, “I have a lot of pain and am afraid because I rely on my hands to make a life. I request for help so that I can get my hand treated. I hope to return to my regular workload soon so that I may work and help my needy mother."
Kay is 43-year-old woman and garment factory worker. She lives alone on the border of Thailand and Burma. Kay supports her parents in Burma by sending them money every month. In her free time, she enjoys reading books about Buddhism. In the middle of 2021, Kay began experiencing pain and abnormal bleeding. By September of 2022, the pain and symptoms had worsened. Kay has been diagnosed with myoma, or a noncancerous growth in the uterus. She has been advised to undergo a total abdominal hysterectomy, which would surgically remove her uterus and cervix. If left untreated, Kay's symptoms will continue to worsen and put her at risk for further health complications in the future. Fortunately, Kay is scheduled to undergo her hysterectomy on September 19th. Our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of her procedure and care. Once recovered, she will no longer experience pain or abnormal bleeding. She will be able to go back to work, and to continue supporting her family. “When I recover fully, I will continue to work in the garment factory. I will save my money and I will pay back my debt. I will try to continue supporting my parents,” said Kay.
Eliana is a friendly and talkative young girl from Tanzania. She is the firstborn child in a family of three. Her parents both work as small-scale farmers, and they depend entirely on what they harvest for their daily living. When Eliana was two years old, her parents noticed that her left leg was swelling up and that she would limp when walking. They initially thought she had fallen and hurt herself, so they took her to a local dispensary, where she was prescribed pain relieving medication. Eliana was eventually diagnosed with genu valgus, which is a malalignment of the knees. This condition is typically caused by an excessive accumulation of fluoride in the bones, which often stems from contaminated drinking water. As a result, Eliana struggles to stand and cannot walk more than four steps without either experiencing pain or falling down. This has resulted in her having to crawl most of the time in order to move from one place to another. In 2020, Eliana had corrective osteotomy surgery, which fortunately helped correct her legs to a point where she can now enjoy walking and playing with other children. However, she requires a second-stage procedure in order to remove her implant so her condition can heal entirely. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $880 to fund corrective surgery for Eliana. The procedure is scheduled to take place on August 11th. Treatment will allow Eliana's legs to completely heal, fully restoring her mobility, and greatly decreasing her risk of future complications. Eliana’s grandmother says, “The first surgery my granddaughter got helped ease her walking. I believe this next surgery will make her legs even better.’’
Yeang is a 40-year-old tailor with one daughter and two sons. When she is not working as a tailor, she is busy at home doing laundry, cleaning, and sleeping. Six months ago, Yeang had an ear infection. This infection caused the tympanic membrane, or the ear drum, in both ears to perforate. For this reason, she experiences ear pain, discharge, and hearing difficulties. All of this makes it hard for her to communicate with others and focus at work. Fortunately, Yeang traveled to our medical partner's care center to receive treatment. On July 7th, she will undergo a myringoplasty procedure in both ears. During this procedure, surgeons will close the perforations. Our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, is requesting $914 to fund this procedure. This covers supplies, treatment, and inpatient care. Yeang says, "I am hopeful my hearing will improve, the pain will stop, and I can sleep well again after this surgery."
Misgana is a 15-month-old girl from Ethiopia. She is a happy and friendly baby. She has one older sister she loves to play with, and she also loves playing with her dolls. Her mom makes injera (a traditional Ethiopian food) for a living. She brings her two daughters along with her to work because she has no one to look after them while she is away. Misgana's dad is a farmer and they live in a rented house. Misgana was born with an anorectal malformation, a congenital abnormality that leads to a complete or partial intestinal blockage. She needs to undergo a series of procedures to eliminate bowel dysfunction. Misgana underwent emergency colostomy surgery at BethanyKids Myungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM) and now needs to have her next stage of treatment to fully heal. Her mom shared how difficult this has been on their family psychologically and that they cannot afford Misgana's medical bill. Fortunately, Misgana is now scheduled to undergo surgery to correct her condition on July 7th. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is requesting $1,500 to cover the total cost of Misgana's procedure and care. After her recovery, Misgana will no longer experience bowel dysfunction or be at risk of developing related health complications in the future. Her mom says “I hope my child will heal and grow. I want her to learn about God. And I wish she will get a good education and become a teacher.”
John is a young student from Haiti who lives with his mother and two older brothers in a neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. He already loves going to kindergarten and enjoys playing with puzzles. John has a cardiac condition called double outlet right ventricle meaning the major arteries connect to the heart in an abnormal location making it difficult for blood to properly flow through his body. Unfortunately the treatment John needs to heal is not available anywhere in Haiti. So, John is flying to the Cayman Islands to receive cardiac surgery. On May 25th, surgeons will detach the arteries from John's heart and reconnect them in their anatomically correct locations. Have a Heart Cayman is contributing $17,000 to pay for this surgery. Our medical partner, Haiti Cardiac Alliance, needs $1,500 to help John's family cover labs, medicines, and follow-up appointments. It also supports passport obtainment and the social workers from Haiti Cardiac Alliance who will accompany John's family overseas. John's mother shared, "Our family all looks forward to our son having a more normal life after this surgery!"
Shee is a 23-year-old woman from Burma. In 2016, Shee and her family moved to a refugee camp in Thailand. There she has been able to continue her studies. Shee graduated from the junior college and now helps her cousin-in-law weave and sell traditional Karen clothes. She shared that it has been difficult for her family to find work within the camp at this time, but she hopes to become a teacher soon. In her free time, Shee enjoys playing with her nephews. In February, Shee began to develop a mass and experience pain in her abdomen, so she visited the camp's hospital. Upon review, she was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and given medication. Since the mass continued to grow, Shee was referred to her our medical partner's hospital, Mae Sariang Hospital, in early April. After receiving an ultrasound, the doctors determined Shee has an ovarian cyst and needs to undergo surgery to heal. Currently, Shee experiences severe pain that makes it challenging for her to sleep, eat, or continue her weaving. Fortunately, our medical partner, Burma Children Medical Fund (BCMF), can help Shee receive treatment. On April 20th, she will undergo surgery to remove the cyst. BCMF is requesting $1,500 to fund the total cost of this procedure. Shee shared, "I am not worried about my operation because I hope it will fix my health problem. I would like to become a teacher in the future because I like teaching. After I recover, I plan to apply at a school in the refugee camp."
Esbon is a three-day-old baby and the fourth born in a family of four. His parents are both farmers, and also do casual jobs in order to sustain their lives and those of their children. Esbon's mother hopes that he gets well soon so they may go back home to be with her other children. Esbon was born with the umbilical cord tied around the calf muscle of his left lower limb, sustaining a wound around it that was deep. He was also born with a congenital condition of the feet, with missing digits in both lower limbs and the left upper limb. His mom is worried that he feels a lot of pain. Fortunately, our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, is helping Esbon receive treatment. On March 10th, surgeons at their care center will perform a surgery to release the amniotic construction band with a skin graft. Now, their family needs help to fund this $1,478 procedure. Esbon's mother shared, "Kindly help my son so that he can be relieved from pain and be able to live normally in the future."
Debash is an adorable two-year-old boy from Ethiopia. His dad shared that although he can be a bit shy in front of new people, his playfulness comes out whenever he's around his siblings. He has three sisters and one brother. Debash's parents are farmers on their own land, however the weather in their environment is dry most of the year, which causes their harvest to be limited. The amount of fruit they yield is frequently not enough to meet their family's needs, in turn causing them to spend money on purchasing food, after consuming their own, for the rest of the year. During the months of the year when they are not farming, they work in a factory to earn additional income. Even so, their income is limited and supports the basic needs of the family. Debash has a condition called Hirschprung's Disease. This is a birth condition that affects the large intestine and causes problems with passing stool. As a result, Debash has needed a series of treatments to remove an abnormally functioning segment of his bowel. Now he has returned for a follow-up procedure to a colostomy operation he had when he was younger. Because of COVID-19, financial limitations, and social unrest in his region they weren't able to follow up for his second surgery a quickly as they'd hoped and have been waiting a long time. A social worker met with their family and informed them of the services at our medical partner's care center, BethanyKids Mygungsung Christian Medical Centre (BKMCM), and recommended they take Debash there to proceed with his needed treatment. Due to Debash's condition, his parents are under a lot of psychological and financial stress. They cannot afford the medical bill for their son's treatment, and appeal for help. Fortunately, on February 17th, Debash will receive treatment at BKMCM. There, Debash will undergo hirschprung pull through surgery to remove the diseased portion of his intestine. With treatment, Debash will grow up to hopefully lead a happy life, and will no longer be in a constant state of discomfort. Our medical partner, African Mission Healthcare, asks for $1,500 to help fund Debash's medical bill. His dad said, “We hope he will heal about his second surgery now. That will be great and it will make us happy. I want to educate my child. I hope he will get a good job after that. Either being a government worker or a doctor or a teacher or a trader or a farmer, I hope he will lead a good and healthy life in his future.”